Relevance of Arabic Dialects: A Brief Discussion

Reference work entry


The Arabic language is unique in the way it is categorized. Countries in the Arab world have superimposed the word “Arabic” to refer to Modern Standard Arabic, a standardized variety of language considered a more formal register of language based on the classical texts and the grammar of the Quran and a non-native language to Arabs. Any variation from MSA is considered a “dialect” of Arabic, the first language of Arabs, rendering Arabic in a state of diglossia. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the significance of Arabic diglossia in Egypt and the Levant under the theoretical framework of the dimensionality of linguistic variability, in this case, social prestige. The conclusion is that the language attitudes surrounding Arabic diglossia are progressively shifting to an acceptance of dialectal categorization and usage of the language form in its various social contexts.


Arabic Sociolinguistics Diglossia Dialects Linguistic variation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jeannine Rainbolt College of EducationUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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